About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

4/6/16 – 6:41 A.M.

Kalida officials are talking about road improvements in the village. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a recent council meeting saw plenty of discussion about reconstructing both Walnut and 5th streets. Before moving forward with any plans, council members are seeking opinions about installing curbing along Walnut Street. No date has been set for a public meeting just yet.

Kalida council members also talked about the intersection of U.S. 224 and Road N. There is concern that the intersection should be more perpendicular. An engineering firm will make recommendations on how to improve the area for drivers.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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4/6/16 – 5:22 A.M.

A Findlay man arrested during a drug raid last week was indicted on several charges Tuesday. The Courier reports 46-year-old Darius Godley faces counts of trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine, trafficking in cocaine, and possession of heroin among others. Godley was taken into custody following a raid at 219 Midland Avenue on March 29.

Authorities say “controlled buys” were made from Godley before last week’s search.

Officers allegedly found cocaine, heroin, oxycodone pills, marijuana, a large sum of cash, and firearms in the home.

MORE: The Courier

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4/6/16 – 5:02 A.M.

It looks like there will be some changes to a plan for bike lanes on North Cory Street in Findlay. The current plans call for North Cory being changed to a northbound one-way road, with northbound and southbound bike lanes. However it looks like council is now leaning toward keeping the current traffic pattern and adding a shared bike and car lane in each direction. The first reading of the new plan was heard Tuesday night.

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer says the only difference between shared lanes and a typical road is the bicycle markings on the street. He believes the street would still be safe for people on bikes since there will be increased awareness about the shared lanes.

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4/6/16 – 4:50 A.M.

Former Hancock County Commissioner David Oman urged the current commissioners to drop the diversion channel plan during a Tuesday meeting. The Courier reports Oman told the commissioners they had been brainwashed by city officials. Oman said city leaders were “trying to make fools of us” and were “only interested in themselves.”

The topic of lawsuits also came up. Oman said he usually opposes lawsuits, but added, “We’d sue at the drop of a hat now on anything pertaining to this.” Oman owns property near the proposed diversion channel.

Oman served as a Hancock County Commissioner from 1975 to 1991.

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4/5/2016 – 10:45 pm

Protecting the integrity of Ohio elections remains a top priority of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Stopping in Findlay Tuesday afternoon, Husted said that up to date voter rolls help to reduce Election Day confusion, reduce the need for Provisional Ballots and the chances for fraud, however issues can still happen. One issue is protecting domestic violence victims and victims of human trafficking from harm by not providing certain kinds of information in public records. Husted said his office is working to protect these individuals.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted mentioned that the plan would be comprehensive to prevent fraud but would still be designed to protect personal information from voter rolls. Looking at the current election, Husted said that the mood of the country serves as an educational tool to clarify how the parties actually nominate their candidates for President of the United States.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted said that it is the same for the Democratic party in that party rules, rather than voters themselves can determine who will be the Presidential nominee.

Audio: Jon Husted

Looking at the Republican field as it stands, Husted supports Governor Kasich, but he noted that the Republican party this year has been met with candidates who have been divisive rather than uniting the party, and given growing interests, that may be the case in future elections, but Husted said that he looks for a candidate that has long term goals rather than short term.

Audio: Jon Husted

On his own future prospects, such as a run for Ohio Governor, Husted was mute. However, he said that regardless of the future his office has made significant strides to cut its budget and reduce the costs of Ohio elections as well as modernize. He noted that today 90% of Ohio’s voter records have complete information, up from 20% in 2011 and more than 340,000 Ohio voters have utilized an online system to change and update their addresses, taking the burden off local election boards.

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4/5/2016 – 9:42 pm

Findlay will soon be able to compete for funding to be used to provide housing service to low and moderate income residents. The Findlay City Council passed an ordinance to partner with Hancock County to apply for Community Housing Improvement Program grants or CHIP grants which would help the county address housing needs.

According to a letter from Hancock Regional Planning Commission Director Matt Cordonnier, the CHIP funds can be used to help rehab properties, provide rental assistance, emergency home repair, down payment assistance and help in Habitat for Humanity building. Prior CHIP funding has proven successful. In 2014, the county received a $400,000 CHIP grant.

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4/5/2016 – 9:33pm

The Findlay City Council heard the first reading on an ordinance which would grant Hancock-Wood Electric the right to operate in their own service territory within the city limits. The question on the franchise agreement came forward long after Findlay had annexed a portion of Hancock-Wood territory into the city limits, creating a conflict with AEP service territory agreements.

The city moved the legislation to a second reading at their next meeting later this month. The council also moved to hold a meeting of the whole to hear from AEP representatives as well as discuss the matter further. The dispute between both utilities will be sent to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission for a future ruling.

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4/5/2016 – 12:40 pm

The Third District Court of Appeals of Ohio has upheld the sentence of a former Hardin County Municipal Court Probation Officer and Bailiff. WKTN Radio reports that Don Castle was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of rape last fall. Judge Scott Barrett sentenced Castle to three years on one count and five years on the other to be served consecutively.

One of the incidents occurred when Castle was married to the victim. Judge Barrett said at the time that warrants the consecutive sentence because there is no relationship that is more based on trust in each other than the intimate relationship of marriage, and he found that Castle violated the sanctity of marriage. In his appeal, Castle argued that the court’s argument lacked legal support.

The Appeals Court however, found Castle failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his sentenced is contrary to law and overruled Castle’s sole assignment of error. The Appeals Court affirmed the judgement of the trial court and Castle will not be eligible for early release and is classified as a Tier III Sex Offender.

More: Kenton Today

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4/5/16 – 12:06 P.M.

The flood mitigation project for the Blanchard River in Ottawa is moving along.  Project managers say the Road I9 bridge reconstruction project should be finished  this Spring.

There was some concern about the removal of guardrails along the road.  While the roadway no longer requires them, the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District board voted to install them anyway for safety precautions.  However, it could mean more maintenance for the berm along the newly reconstructed road because the guardrail could force water against the berm.

Plans for a diversion channel are around 60 percent complete.  No timeline on the project will be available until all the land for the channel is bought.

An update on the project was given at Tuesday’s conservancy district meeting.

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4/5/15 – 10:18 A.M.
Update – 11:57 A.M.

The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District has voted to help Hancock County refine the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of a diversion channel for the Blanchard River. Conservancy general manager Clark Lynn Army says a study needs to be finalized in order to make key decisions…

Audio: Clark Lynn Army

Army says the scope of a general investigative study differs from the study the Corps was doing. He adds that doesn’t mean the work done up to this point has been a wasted effort…

Audio: Clark Lynn Army

Army says this does not mean the diversion channel is being built, only that a preliminary plan for a channel will be finished

The conservancy district board says it will need a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hancock County Commissioners to move forward.

There is no timeline for the completion of the study. The topic will likely be on the conservancy’s agenda for their May meeting.

While Tuesday’s meeting was open to the public, there was no public comment. Army says his door is always open to hear concerns from the Hancock County community.

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